I have just Googled about this issue. I am affected from dunkin donuts creamer they use. I don't need to drink much in the coffee and I instantly have this reaction everytime. I always drank it black now with creamer and get instant sinus reactions than goes away the next day. I am interested in learning more and helping anyway I can. This is the only information I found online that can link to my issue.
We eat non GMO organic and perhaps ice cream maybe two times in ten years. One day at the supermarket they had big ice cream sale . Häagen-Dazs and Talenti, we bought both ate some . That night I noticed by eyes hurt so bad, hurt to move them. and I had insomnia my frontal sinuses were inflamed feeling . I did not link it to ice cream. My husband was sleeping he was not feeling so good. That night we ate more ice cream next day I felt like I had a mega sinus infection, I felt so weird I was forgetting things and I had migraine, we were going to go to the emergency dept, decided to wait to see my MD on Monday. I'm stunned that ice cream from my childhood days has turned into a dangerous poison with all sort of chemicals! No ice cream for us ever, unless I make it at home. end of story.
You want the connection, here it is: Balsam of Peru and Balsam of Tolu.
These two "ingredients" are basically tree saps from some South American trees and they are basically the same thing. They are commonly used to "naturally flavor" many foods and also widely used in perfumes. This probably explains it if you are allergic to perfumes and scents, and/or if ice cream bothers your sinuses. It contains compounds that are chemically the same or similar to cinnamon, clove, vanilla, citrus, etc and can be extracted and used much more cheaply than the real thing.
Looking over the chemical names listed above for the Burger King Strawberry Milkshake, I recognize many of those chemical compounds as easily derivable from Balsam of Peru and Balsam of Tolu. (http://www.rain-tree.com/balsam.htm)
They can put it in ANY food or beverage and label it simply as "natural flavor", so it can be in anything you eat that says "natural flavor" or even potentially "artificial flavor". It is also the number two contact dermatitis allergen at 15% of skin all tests showing "positive" results, just behind nickel. If 15% of people's skin is allergic to it, logic would dictate that the rest of their body probably would not like it either if ingested or inhaled, especially the delicate mucous membranes of sinuses and digestive tracts.
Research it yourself and see if avoiding "natural flavors" is worth it.
Also, petition your local government and tell them to make manufacturers label EVERYTHING that is in their foods and personal care products! If it is going in or on us, we have a right to know what is in it!
I have had my suspicions for some time now about my reaction to chocolate chip mint ice cream. I seem to always get sick with bronchitis that lasts months. I have been a skeptic of this connection since I grew up eating ice cream ( this flavor always a favorite) with no problems. I did it again last Friday night and it started Saturday and I have been stick with bronchial asthma for a week. I also get sick eating cold cereals with bht that didn't bother me as a kid. This site puts it together for me. I'm done with ice cream. Is it the corn in cereals (the rare treat of Lucky Charms)? Or the BHT?
EC: Hi Audrey,
Please read the introductory/overview article at the top of our ice cream and sinus infections page here, specifically these 2 parts:
6/29/2006: Penny from Fresno, CA was kind enough to send us the following excerpt. You can find even more information on this subject at: http://www.rense.com/general7/whyy.htm
"In his book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser looks at the typical ingredients in a Burger King strawberry milkshake: amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenyl-glycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone, a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, run ether, y-undercalctone, vanillin and solvent.
It would appear that underneath the natural and artificial flavours, an abundance of compounds lay. There is nothing illegal going on here. This is all within the law. Likewise with food labels, they too can include all these ingredients and place them under the umbrella term of 'flavourings'. It's really rather frightening. The value of flavourings is of tremendous importance to the fast food industry, which require their foods be standardized, and flavourings can offer a standardized product. In order that artificial flavourings are made believable, the correct 'mouth feel' must be gained. This is achieved by the addition of starches, emulsfiers, stabilizers, sugars and fats (Marsili, 1993, Food Product Design). So next time you pop into your favourite fast food outlet for a milkshake, take a moment and think about what's really in this stuff."
Here's a snippet from a May 6th, 2007 New York Times article by Jesse McKinley entitled: "Flavoring-Factory Illnesses Raise Inquiries."
"Over the last several years, California health officials have been tracking a handful of workers in flavoring factories who have been incapacitated with a rare, life-threatening lung condition 'bronchiolitis obliterans' for which there is no cure or treatment. Usually found only in people who are poisoned by chemical fires or chemical warfare or in lung transplant patients, bronchiolitis obliterans renders its victims unable to exert even a little energy without becoming winded or faint."
Thank you so much, I am in the throws of a megga sinus attack with no other reason for it than a new brand of icecream which states its the Smooth icecream with the worlds finest vanilla flavour! Sourced from Madagascan vanilla..........Now I am informed and will go back to making my own with homegrown strawberries and NO artificial flavours.. Its such a relief to learn its not the icecream as such but once again its the Ad-ins.....
Cider vinegar massage and steaming are finally providing me relief thanks to sites like yours who care enough to help.
I am so happy to have been directed to your site. So much information. The ice cream/sinusitis connection is especially interesting, since I have several friends/family members that suffer terribly with sinus trouble.
I don't have any cures but I wanted to share some information that a nurse (7th Day Adventist) told me, during a discussion about nutrition. One of her statements was so simple as to render it mind-boggling. She said:
Everyone forgets that God made MILK for baby cows!
And we wonder why, even in raw form, we can't tolerate it??
Be calm and be healthy...
I knew it!!! I should have looked this up years ago! Thank you. I get horribly sick every single time after eating my favorite ice cream, Hagendaz vanilla Swiss almond. I am sick today, sinus and all. Had homemade papaya shake with carnation evaporated milk last night. So was it the milk? Was it the brown sugar? Was it that it was too cold? Or all of the above? I would really appreciate your feedback. thanks again to everyone.
3 days ago I celebrated a birthday with a friend here in my home all my life I delt with sinusitis since I was 16. I picked up a DQ icecream cake for her to share with her family. I had decent sized piece. Next day had pressure on my ears and face seen that my face was swollen. I just assumed it was allgeries by the next day I was in so much pain my ears were closed up like being on an air plane running 102 fever and really bad virtago. Have a netti but the water not going through did natural healing search found this Page and went holey #*+". I have reflected back on past events and realized I had ice cream every time I got sick. This is just mind blowing.
Nikki P, Ontario Canada
Los Angeles California
I haven't had a history of sickness, and I believe I have a fairly good immune system. A few weeks ago, ice-cream was on sale, so I bought two packs. After finishing the first (chocolate), I opened up the last pack last Saturday, this was some three flavour (I never really care what I buy, like I said I've never really had any major problems). The next morning I had what seemed like a cold. I ignored it, had some cold medications and went off to work, from there it was downhill. I thought it might just be the weather, I bought neo-citran to end the pain in my ears (sore throat). It helped me sleep, but my lungs were full of mucus the next morning. Its been a few days now (10 days). I haven't fully recovered, it is getting better. But atleast now I know, whats wrong, its a great relief, having read this post. I just wanted to post my experience here so that people realize this is not a fluke, it does and is happening.
Thank you for your article on ice cream and sinus infections, Saturday I went to my local market they had Klondike bars buy one get one free, I been waking up everyday since with a horrible headache and clogged nasal passages, like it says in the article I do not have a runny nose. I just wanted to share my experience so anyone reading this knows it is true, from now on I will be staying away from ice cream.
I just found your page while looking for home cures for sinus infection (which I have right now) and surprise! I did have ice cream just before I came down with this. I wanted to inform you that I do not eat any ice creams that contain any artificial additives. Most of what I buy I get from Wholefoods. I just thought that you might want to add this to your statistics for narrowing down the culprit.
I got a 'regular' cold just before Christmas 2011. I did my sinus flush and all, and I was back in business by Monday evening. Of course there are the lingering affects, but I can deal with the symptoms individually. As long as I can sleep, I can recover. Then comes Jan 4. After a long day, I head home, and stop in at Wendy's to get my favorite chocolate Frosty for the trip home. It was delicious as always. Thursday I started feeling the down hill crash and by 5pm, I was toast. I'm just today beginning to feel better (Monday, Jan 9). Head still has tons of gunk. I'm still sinus flushing. Started researching for sinusplasty or something to get rid of this when I came across this article. I think I will be avoiding Wendys et al for a while.
One thing I do plan on trying: Homemade Ice Cream. I want to see if I have a similar reaction. I don't think I will, and I have an excuse for ice cream!
Middle Tn, Tn
Rapid City, Sd
Your amazing. I have been looking this up for years! I am so glad I am not the only one who gets this. About 95% of the time after I eat ice cream I come down with flu-like symptoms, first it starts off as a light sore throat, then a feverish headache, then nausea, upset stomach etc etc. I never got a runny nose. I was convinced that the doctors that removed my tonsils nearly 14 years ago messed up in some way that spoiled my fun of eating ice cream whenever I feel like it, but I have never heard of anyone having that problem after getting their tonsils out. Should definitely look into this more!!!!! I am beyond interested in what's causing this.
Kingston, New York, Usa
Seattle, Wa - Usa
Im very happy to find this article. I thought I was imagining things. 3 days ago on sunday I had a vanilla shake at in n out burgers in LA and immediately, while I was drinking it even, I started to have flu symptoms. Now its almost full blown: runny nose, cough, etc. I very rarely eat fast food, once a month usually. And I only eat in n out. But this time I went 2x in the last two weeks. This had never happened before, so I thought I was hallucinating or something. Thats when I turned to the internet for answers. I'm a pretty healthy person, been living in japan for the last decade, but came to america a year ago on a promotion tour for my book black passenger yellow cabs. Living in japan, one cant help but eat healthily, so my body is just not accustomed to artificial flavoring. thanks to you guys, the mystery is solved.
I am rarely one to come down with a cold. And once a cold gets me I can't remember too many times it lasting for more than one are two days. My girlfriend and I are really conscious about the food we buy and avoid fake food as much as possible. We like organic and real ingredients. But I admit I can slip from time to time. For instance working with my friend before Christmas. The 22nd and 23rd of December I ate at McDonald's with him. Then Christmas eve I did it... Ate some Eddy's Ice cream. What ensued were symptoms so much like described in your article. Its scary. 'Cept the order may not be exact. Christmas day I got the stuffy nose and feeling awful after taking a afternoon nap. That night runny nose and I started taking notice - I may have a cold. I went to sleep that night and mucus dripping into my throat gave me a painfully sore throat. We practice Netty pot nasal washes - my girlfriend more than I. So I cleansed my nose. And went back to sleep to wake with symptoms worsening. By the second night, Dec 26, I am flu like. With constant blowing of much mucus, even though I am cleaning my nose with a Netty pot.